B.L.A.C.K. (Black Leaders Accessing Consciousness through Knowledge) was launched in 2017 as a DO IT! Grant funded program with the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute (JDOAAI). Northeastern students are expected to go out on co-op very early in their professional careers, but some students did not have the networks, background, or experience to develop key relationships with employers that could lead to a fruitful co-op or career opportunity. As it was originally designed the B.L.A.C.K. program is designed to provide students of the African Diaspora with the opportunity to interact with some of Boston’s most prominent Black professionals. After recognizing that many of our Latinx students were already participating in the program because of the multiple identities that they hold, we intentionally expanded the program this year with L.A.T.I.N.X. (Latinx Accessing Their Intellect through Networking and Exchange).
This program includes off-campus site visits, professional development workshops & career planning tailored to the emerging Black and/or Latinx professional interested in acquiring skills to navigate and move up in the workplace. This year, students will visit sites such as State Street, Google, Ellevation Education, Partners Healthcare, the MFA, and much more!
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B.L.A.C.K. and L.A.T.I.N.X. is a collaboration between:
“B.L.A.C.K. gave me the inspiration to see myself in spaces where I used to doubt that I could be in. The program did a fantastic job at equipping me with the skills and network that I now confidently use to navigate professional spaces. I thoroughly enjoyed the program and would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to learn more about how their identity fits into different work spaces.”
“The B.L.A.C.K. program was a unique experience. It gave me the opportunity to meet and network with professionals who look like me while learning about career opportunities in industries that I had never considered. I am more than certain that leveraging these connections will serve me well both personally and professionally as I prepare to enter the work force.”
“B.L.A.C.K./L.A.T.I.N.X. made me more aware that the challenges I face are not unique to me and there are people who have not only faced similar challenges but have also conquered them to become their best selves. It was also amazing to meet with people passionate about the next generation and willing to share their stories, unique perspectives on issues, and lessons they learned. Finally, I was able to build my network and improve my networking skills.”
Dylan Gates“The B.L.A.C.K/L.A.T.N.I.X. program was indeed a unique experience for me to not only visit remarkable companies, such as the Federal Reserve Bank and Partners Healthcare, but helped me recognize my professional qualities and skills needed to emerge in my desired work environment. Through the program’s professional development workshops and its mission in excelling underrepresented minorities in the workplace, I have gained much more comfortable connections with some of the most remarkable people who have given me such great advice and support. I highly recommend this program to anyone that wants to gain a more personal perspective about how their identity can fit into their future workspaces.”
Laura Carolina Betancourt Gutierrez
“As a woman, Latina, and international student, I have been struggling to adapt to the work environment in the U.S. The B.L.A.C.K./L.A.T.I.N.X. Program during Spring Break was a very powerful experience. The people I met, the places we visited, and the talks we had the opportunity to listen to, empowered me to keep working on my dreams, to not give up just because I am different, and to embrace being special. I would recommend this opportunity to those who are also struggling to find their place once school is done.”
“The B.L.A.C.K./L.A.T.I.N.X. program was a wonderful opportunity for me to expand my network, visit several companies in diverse industries, and enhance my professional skills. I believe this program has greatly prepared me for not only my first co-op, but it has also prepared me to be a leader in my career. Thank you!”